I have a very old window probably from the beginning of this house in 1970's. Now I want to replace this old aluminum window with a bow window. my question is there are two posts of the triple window. Are they structural elements? Are they part of this triple window or the builder added them there to fit the aluminum double hungs?

The whole opening is as big as 120" X 56 3/4" I wonder the reason they put it there when they built this house. The window frame gave some support?

Thanks in advance.enter image description here

  • You are correct without those the header would have been much wider. There are are new materials that may be able to do the job in the space you have if it is a perimeter footing.
    – Ed Beal
    Aug 20, 2020 at 19:03
  • I would expect that there are load bearing vertical elements between the larger central window and the two flanking windows. If this is the case, you can't simply cut away the elements between the central and flanking windows and replace the three windows with one large window. You would have to open up the wall all the way to the top pkate and replace the header with a longer and wider one. For a simple window replacement you would have to replace the three windows with three windows. Aug 20, 2020 at 19:49
  • It doesn't help that the photos are tiny, but we don't have enough information to say. There may be studs in those dividers, but we can't tell whether they're load-bearing. You'll need to open things up or get someone on site. Good luck.
    – isherwood
    Aug 20, 2020 at 20:10
  • Voting to close as unanswerable.
    – isherwood
    Aug 20, 2020 at 20:13
  • 1
    I think the question is answerable to the extent that one can say to the OP that he cannot proceed to plan to replace the three windows with a single window without an expert evaluation of the framing around the windows. Would anyone have a recommendation on employing one of the the new visualization devices that interface with a smart phone? Aug 20, 2020 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


I can't think of any window that offer support. The frames are typically too weak and cannot handle the weight. The common framing for a door or window has a king stud (full height), then a crippler stud (shortened to support the header), a header (similar to a beam) over the opening, and at the bottom of the opening is a single 2xx4 or 2x6 depending on the framing, and the supporting studs below it. See picture below and how it disperses the load.

Rough opening framing

So, between your 3 windows are a crippler, king, king, crippler and are there to support the structure. Hopefully, this answers your question.

FYI - What the diagram calls jack studs, I know as cripplers.

  • While it's true that those components may be present, we have no way of knowing whether they're load-bearing. That's the gist of the question.
    – isherwood
    Aug 20, 2020 at 20:16
  • thank you all for the comments.
    – NEBoy
    Aug 20, 2020 at 21:19

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